this thread made me boot up my Pentium 166 MMX / 3d monster PC last night and I tried out a few games to give a rating on how good performance is on some of these 1996/97/98 games:
GLquake - ran at about 30-40 FPS and can dip down to 15 or so in action packed areas. In 1997 this was acceptable but today it is not. I stopped playing at ziggurat vertigo (secret level with low grav) - it chugged really bad when I got up top to find the ogres and shamblers. Might be nicer on lower difficulties with less enemies. I give it a 6/10.
Need for speed 2 SE was similar - bursts of good performance but many spots where it felt like it was 10-15 fps. 5/10, hard to play at low FPS.
POD gold - started with a good framerate but then the audio went to crap and started jittering. The framerate also tanked for some reason. I'm gonna guess it's because of the USB card in the PC. I give it no score.
Nuclear Strike - consistent framerate of about 25-30 but action/explosions/many units on screen meant it got quite low. Playable still, 6.5/10.
Moto racer - a game that actually performed nicely even with details on high. 8/10
Tomb Raider - Runs at 30fps unless the antialiasing (is that what the F3/F4 button does?) is turned on, in some large rooms/areas the FPS goes down to sub 10. It looks just as fine without the smoothed edges. 8.5/10
Battlezone - I think this runs in D3D but it ran really well with all details on medium (some settings max). I don't know how to play it or what I was doing, but the framerate was a solid 25+ while i was cruising around the moon (?) - 7/10.
Myth - Ran at like 15fps the entire time. I've never played it and was shocked to see 3d terrain and buildings in a 1997 RTS, 3 years before Warcraft 3. it gets 5/10 tho cos i ran so poorly.
GTA's 3dfx exe ran the game really nicely. 9/10
SWIV3d ran surprisingly well at 25-30fps the entire time and it is sooo much nicer in 3dfx mode than software renderer. I'm almost tempted to finish this game. 8/10
Jedi Knight ran really really well and i'm almost certain it's not even using 3dfx Glide (not too surprised, I haven't had a 3d card run this game bad at all) 9/10
I couldn't get Shadow Warrior or Blood to work. Might be missing those system variables I see around...
I am starting to think that I'm having a bad experience using the USB 2.0 card for my external SSD running most games from daemon tools. I really should put W95 back onto this and move over to using network storage instead.
(I actually have the entire previous W95 build still on the HDD, when I installed W98 I removed or renamed those 2 system files in c: so that the W98 installer didnt detect a previous install. does anyone think it's possible to dual boot from the abandoned windows folder?)
last thought: Would a jump to a 233mmx be a significant boost? I'm using a super socket 7 board, Shuttle HOT-591p.